An Everett pipeline is forming in Fraser Valley.
After signing 2001-born forward Gage Goncalves last year and drafting Dylan Anderson in the fourth round in 2017, both of whom played for the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds last season, the Silvertips signed another Fraser Valley player, 2002-forward Jacob Wright, in January.
“It’s nice to know some familiar faces there,” Wright said. “It makes the adjustment a lot easier since I already know some guys on the team.”
The 16-year-old center was placed on Everett’s protected list last spring along with his midget teammate, Brendan Williamson, and competed at Silvertips training camp before this current season before being offered a contract, which he said he signed almost right away.
“I went to main camp and I met the organization and the coaches and stuff,” Wright said. “I got to see what Everett’s all about. It looked really appealing to me. I loved the city and everything and when we started to talk about a contract, I was super excited. I knew I wanted to sign that contract right away.”
His midget teammate won’t make it to Everett with him. Instead, he’ll stay a Thunderbird, as Williamson was the prospect traded to Seattle in a deal for Zack Andrusiak.
Williamson and Wright were together eating a New Year’s Day breakfast with their team when Williamson received word he was traded.
“That was pretty cool to know there was another familiar face in the organization,” Wright said. “It was not disappointing, but eye opening I guess. He’s signed with Seattle so he’s a part of the rivalry now, so it will be fun competing against him.”
Fraser Valley plays in the British Columbia Major Midget League, with several of the teams shadowing the names and logos of several Western Hockey League teams, including the Chiefs, the Silvertips and many more.
The BCMML’s Thunderbirds are enjoying a successful season, with Wright as their second leading scorer; Wright is tied for seventh in the British Columbia Major Midget League with 49 points and tied for third in assists with 33.
“I’m not undersized, but I’m smaller,” Wright said. “I use my speed to my advantage and I feel that I have really good vision. I can be a good playmaker. … I love the 200-foot aspect of the game. I feel like I can work well on both ends of the ice.”
The Thunderbirds are currently tied atop the BCMML with the Vancouver North East Chiefs at 56 points with just two games remaining. If Fraser Valley makes a playoff run, Wright could have a chance to compete at the Telus Cup, Canada’s National midget hockey tournament, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, from April 22-28.
“It’s been a really fun year,” Wright said. “Great group of guys and we’re having a successful year. Our coaches have been preaching simple hockey and it’s been working out a lot.”
Wright took in the Silvertips’ Jan. 18 tilt against Kelowna and signed a contract over that weekend. It fulfilled a dream come true.
“It was pretty surreal,” Wright said. “My family was down there and I was really excited. It was an awesome feeling to know that I’ve accomplished something that I always wanted to do.”